Cankerworm control program kicks off in Regina

It’s that time of year when City of Regina crews are spraying trees to control cankerworms where counts are high.

Workers will be pumping an organic bacterial product onto 15,000 trees to control the spread of cankerworms this summer. The city says the liquid, called Dipel, kills cankerworms but is harmless to pets, wildlife and humans.

Russell Eirich, program manager for pest control with the city, explained that crews will be going into older neighbourhoods to spray elm trees as part of their program. He said this is the time of year when cankerworm numbers start to increase.

“We’re going to be posting online where we will be spraying and we’re going to try and put up a 24-hour notice ahead of time,” mentioned Eirich. “We’ll also be trying to put signage up around the areas when residents drive into the areas after their work day, letting them know that we will be there in the next day or so.”

He said there are a couple ways residents can help out when crews are spraying in their part of the city.

“Keep your cars off the street if you can. If not, just close your windows up. This product is non-toxic and it’s a quick car wash afterwards.”

Citizens should easily catch when sprayers will be active in their neighbourhood over the coming weeks since people are spending more time at home because of COVID-19.

When asked if the pandemic has had an effect on how the program will run this year, Eirich said their staff will be following public health measures like physical distancing.

“Some of the other things we’re having to do is we’re having to transport our crews a bit differently,” he noted. “There are actually some cases where they are suited up, in other cases they are isolated in cells in a spray box.”

Residents might even catch the city’s “Worminator” vehicle showering trees with Dipel during the spring and summer.

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